As always, you can click on images to see larger versions. But be warned that they depict some grisly violence this time.

Hotline Miami made quite a splash when it was released two years ago. Critics loved its aesthetic, its pastel palette evoking the neon lighting of late ’80s Miami, its hard-hitting synth-heavy soundtrack sounding like what the late ’80s should have sounded like. To me, it was more notable as the first commercial game by Jonatan Söderström, better known as Cactus, who forms one half of developers Dennaton Games (the other half is Dennis Wedin, with whom I was not previously familiar). Cactus has a reputation for making strange, free games, something he’s been doing for longer than “indie games” have been things people knew about. But the hyper-violent tale of Hotline Miami seemed at odds with his earlier output, and honestly wasn’t that appealing to me. Eventually curiosity got the better of me, however, and I’m glad it did.